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Part 11: Remote Hydraulic Tilt Front Clip II
The entire front clip -- fenders, hood and nose -- will be welded together and will become one piece. I plan to build the clip so that it can be unbolted and lifted off in a matter of minutes with the help of two friends. My opening mechanism is a pair of hydraulic Marine power trim rams, a bit of an overkill but the price was right. I've removed the inner fender wells to reduce some of the weight, and I will examine the feasibility of a light weight replacement set.
The hinge bushings were made from 2" brass stock, press fitted into steel pipe and drilled with a 7/8" hole. Grease nipples were taped into the underside of the bushings. Two 3 1/2" x 7/8" coarse thread bolts and locking nuts (welded to the inside of the frame mounts) will give me my hinge pivot points.
NOTE: After closer examination, I realized there's no adjustment for front clip alignment. AH RATS!...back to the drawing board to draft mounting brackets. I need to be able to adjust the clip vertically and horizontally to get the proper gaps at the cowl and doorposts.
Fenders, hood and nose tack welded for fit. Sheet metal in fender fronts removed for repair.
The bottoms of the fender fronts will need a 3" trim to clear the wheels when the clip is fully opened -- this will allow me easier access to the engine.
Placement of the hydraulic rams will be worked out after the hinge and adjusting brackets are ironed out. Afterwards, the front clip will be reinforced to eliminate flexing, and finally the stepped areas at the firewall and underside of the clip where the front clip will rest in the closed position will be fabricated.
The stepped areas (underside clip and lower firewall to fender areas) will be boxed in and sheeted. I'll be using 2 tapered rubber cones with tapered metal cups from a transport truck cab. The rubber cones will bolt to the top of the lower fender/firewall step and the cups will be recessed into the underside of the boxed portion of the clip's upper fender area. The downward force of the hydraulic rams onto the rubber cones should secure the front clip tight in the closed position. Rubber bumpers will cushion the hood at the cowl.
Click here for Part 12: Chopping the Top I
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